Forensics of Academic Documents: Part I

One question that never fails to be asked when I present a workshop on foreign credential evaluations or even in casual conversation with someone asking me about what I do for a living is “do you see any forged documents?’” And I always reply “yes.” Foreign credential evaluation is part research and the determination of […]

Graduation Clearance

“Life is my college. May I graduate well, and earn some honors!” ~Louise May Alcott Once a student has “completed” his/her degree course requirements, passed all the final examinations and satisfied any financial obligations, the institution where the studies were completed may then consider the student eligible to graduate. Clearance for graduation is the process […]

2+2: Bringing the $$$ value back to the U.S. Higher Education

The global middle class is growing as is the global demand for International Higher Education. It is projected that student mobility will grow 70% by the year 2025. International Students contributed approximately 18.78 billion to the US economy during the 2009-2010 academic years; it is this country’s fifth-largest service-sector export, according to the Department of […]

Translation vs. Evaluation

There seems to be a misconception about “translation” and “evaluation.” Some think the two are the same but that is not true. A translation is quite literally the word-for-word line-by-line interpretation of a document issued in one language into another language. An evaluation in the case of academic documents is an analysis of the learning […]

Music to My Ears

Music and Iran are not words that harmonize well in today’s Islamic Republic. And you can imagine my surprise when official transcripts for a degree in Music from the Islamic Azad University (est. 1988), the bastion of the Republic’s Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution and the Islamic Consultative Assembly, landed on my desk. There, nestled […]

The Rise of On-Line Courses in U.S. High Schools

In a recent NYT article of 4/6/11 “More Pupils are Learning Online, Fueling Debate on Quality,” more and more high schools are resorting to classroom instruction provided by computers versus teachers. The proponents of on-line courses in high schools argue that it provides students the computer skills they would need for college where on-line courses […]

The Dying Art of Cursive Handwriting

It looks like we are on the cusp of seeing the end of cursive training in our school curriculum. According to a recent NYT article “Can You Read This? Its Cursive,” (4/29/11) by Katie Zezima “many school districts are spending far less time teaching it and handwriting in general.” As the product of an English […]

Diploma Mills

What is a “Diploma Mill?” According to an article in the Winter 2002 issue of Colleges and Universities (Volume 77, No. 3) by Allen Ezell, a diploma mill was defined as “an organization that awards degrees without requiring students to meet educational standards for such degrees; it either receives frees from its so-called students on […]


The first step in evaluating non-U.S. academic documents is to determine whether the institution where the studies were completed is recognized and approved by the education authorities in the country, which in most instances is the Ministry of Education. In the U.S. there is no central government body that establishes, maintains and sets standards to […]